Oct 31, 2009

Tea Ceremony Haiku

I am happy to say that This Moment: Tea Ceremony Haiku by Margaret Chula is back in print. It is priced at $10.00 and is available from Katsura Press as is her wonderful new book What Remains: Japanese Americans in Internment Camps

Katsura Press
P.O. Box 10584
Portland OR 97296

This Moment: Tea Ceremony Haiku by Margaret Chula
ISBN: 0963855174 Paperback
Always Filling, Always Full by Margaret Chula
ISBN: 1893996115 Paperback
Haiku especially for Tea, written by award winning haiku poet Maggie Chula. This title is now back in print, and I recommend any of her books: Grinding My Ink, Shadow Lines or Always Filling, Always Full. “Visual imagery, which predominates in most English as well as Japanese haiku, is sometimes astonishing in Chula's. She has the uncommonly keen perception and compositional skills of a painter or fine photographer, while at the same time working with the music and implications of language.” Morgan Gibson, Kyoto Journal.

Oct 27, 2009

Blogging about Chado

Hello blog readers,

When I started this blog two and a half years ago, I had one or two students and I began to write about Chado for them. I had no idea that other people would be interested in or follow this blog. I know that there are some who have followed what I write here for a very long time, and thank you so much for reading. And to new readers, thank you for visiting.

Although I have a long list of blog topics to write about, I have from time to time taken inspiration from current events, tea class discussions, or happenings in my own life, I'd like to throw it open to the community... what would you like to read about? Please let me know, by posting in the comments, what you may be interested in. I may not know anything about it, but together perhaps we can explore the possibilities and continue the conversation.

Here is a partial list of topics either by student request or I have in my notes to write about:

Sweets recipes
More samurai stories
List of the 100 poems of Rikyu (in English)
Advanced temae
Flowers and flower arranging
History of tea masters
The roji (tea garden)
Rikyu and Hideyoshi stories
More stories of my time in Kyoto

What would you like to read more about? Vote on these in the comments or propose your own topics. And a sincere thank you to all readers, even if I don't know about you.

Oct 19, 2009

The microcosm of the tea room

Sensei says: How you are in the tea room is how you are in the world.

Haji o sute hito ni mono toi naraubeshi kore zojozu no motoi narikeru
A person must discard all embarrassment when training in tea, this is the foundation of mastery.
~ from Rikyu's 100 poems

Every time we step into the tea room, it is a microcosm of how we are in the world.

As I observe myself in the tea room, am I impatient, bored, eager, timid, attentive? Am I selfish, critical, generous? Do I treat others with respect? Do I show off? Try to compete? Question others? How do I treat correction and criticism? How do I handle mistakes?

"In a certain place for practice of the way of tea,
there hangs a plaque the reads:
'A Place Making a Shameful Show of Oneself.'
Once you pass through the entrance way,
you will experience no shame,
no matter how shameful a show you may make of yourself.
The practice room is where you are trained as a human,
even as you are sharply scolded
and hesitate to humiliate yourself in the process.
The principal aim of your training is to enable you,
when the time comes,
to perform tea splendidly and without shame.
This is the reason why all those who pass through the entrance way
of this place are prepared to endure severe discipline.
For it is in this way that
they gradually develop fine characters as people.
They cannot achieve this simply by reading books
and listening to others.
They must experience it with their own bodies."

~ Sen Soshitsu XV, The Spirit of Tea

Oct 12, 2009

Aki Matsuri

Please join us this weekend October 17th and 18th

Aki Matsuri 2009
Kibou (Hope)

October 17th and 18th
Saturday and Sunday 10 am - 5 pm

You are invited to Ikebana show by Saga Goryu Hokubei Shisho
Demonstrations of Chado (Way of Tea)
Kou Asobi (Playing with incense)

Featuring Potters Motoko Hori, Ken Pincus and Anne Iverson
With Japanese Antiques form Nishiura Ryokusuido
And Local Farm Vegetables

Location: Buddhist Daihonzan Henjyoji Temple
2624 SE 12th Ave
Portland, Oregon
Donation: $5.00

Oct 7, 2009


PSU Center for Japanese Studies presents
Backstage to Hanamichi: the Color, Magic and Drama of Kabuki Lecture & Performance

Wednesday, October 21st, Time: 7:30 p.m.
$22.00 Tickets: 503.248.4335
The PCPA box office

The Japan Foundation, Shochiku Co., Ltd and The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center are pleased to present Backstage to Hanamichi - A Behind the Scenes Look at the Color, Magic and Drama of Kabuki with lead actors Nakamura Kyozo and Nakamura Matanosuke of the world-renowned Shochiku Company.

Kabuki with its magnificent beauty and highly refined artistry has made it a rare jewel among the great theater traditions of the world. Its actors must undergo years of rigorous training in order to master its three artistic components of music (ka), dance (bu) and drama (ki) before being allowed to perform before an audience. In order to create the magic that is seen on stage, the kabuki actor is supported backstage by a team of unseen artisans and craftsman including costumer stylists, wig masters, musicians and prop masters.

Backstage to Hanamichi provides the audience with a rare glimpse into the traditional world of this centuries-old theater and the painstaking preparations that leads up to an actor's grand entrance onto the hanamichi stage.

The lecture/performance includes performances of two kabuki dance classics: Sagi Musume (The Heron Maiden) and Shakkyo (Lion Dance), contrasting the lyrical style of the onnagata (actor specializing in female roles) with dynamic, acrobatic style in the heroic Lion Dance.

This program is presented in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary Celebration of The Japan America Society of Southern California.